Set detained critics free, Atiku tells FG, state governments 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has condemned what he called a climate of political repression across the country by the Federal and State Governments and other powerful individuals who, he said, use security agencies to arbitrarily detain their critics without formal arraignments before the courts.

In a statement issued by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, in Abuja on Tuesday, Atiku noted the incidents of detention without trial and the disappearance of social media activists who are critical of Governors, saying that the development was disturbing and it contradicted the basic standards of true democratic practices around the world.

According to Atiku, it was wrong to detain critics without trial in violation of their fundamental human rights which are duly protected by the constitution of Nigeria.

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The former Vice President lamented that the current level of political intolerance and abuse of power against critics was unhealthy for the nation’s democracy and our international image.

“Power is public trust and leaders should not, therefore, use their own positions to repress and oppress those who disagree with them or their policies,” he said.

The Waziri of Adamawa reminded that “leaders took an oath of office to protect the welfare, happiness and rights of the citizens”, adding that “it is wrong to use their powers to oppress the very citizens that elected them.”

Atiku, who was the PDP presidential candidate in the February 2019 elections, noted that “feedback is essential to democratic governance; without being criticised you won’t be able to assess the impact of your policies on the people.”

He, therefore, appealed to Federal and State Governments across the country to set in motion the process of releasing persons currently being held in detention for holding contrary viewpoints in order to reduce the tension in the country.

He warned that situations whereby the executive branch of government becomes the interpreter of the law, in which the president or governor’s pronouncements on issues of human rights got weightier than decisions of the law of court, portends great danger to our democracy.

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